A complete guide to paying for student accommodation

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Applying for student housing is one of the most exciting parts of going to university. Not only will your chosen accommodation become your new home during term time, but it will also be your base for everything else in life, such as socialising, going out and making new friends. It’s important to get an idea of how much student accommodation will cost, as well as how and when you need to pay. Here is a complete guide to get you up to speed with everything there is to know about paying for student accommodation.

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How much is student accommodation going to cost?

The cost of student accommodation can vary depending on several different factors:

  • Location: The closer you are to uni, the city centre, or both, the more expensive the accommodation can be. Some cities are more expensive than others.
  • Room type: Rooms can have shared or en-suite bathrooms. If you opt for a studio room with a private bathroom and kitchen, this can be more expensive.
  • Amenities: Generally, rent in student halls includes all bills, Wi-Fi, 24/7 security, maintenance services and more.
  • Contract lengths: Some halls of residence give students the option to stay for longer periods, which can alter the cost across the year slightly. Many of our residences offer longer contracts for up to 52 weeks, as well as the standard 42-week contracts - the longer you stay, the cheaper the weekly rate.

When it comes to deciding where you wish to live, it’s important to make sure you check what features and costs are included in the price before you book, and remember that you still need some budget leftover for groceries, text books and socialising!

Student halls

What about university halls?

There are many benefits to choosing university halls, including the convenience of being close to university and a sense of student community. At Liberty Living, we partner with some of the top universities in the UK to provide official university-approved private accommodation; you can find a full list of our partner universities on our website and check with them how much your accommodation is going to cost. 

If booking university halls, it’s worth remembering that there’s often no guarantee that you’ll be allocated your first choice of halls. So, if you have your heart set on specific halls of residence, it can be a good idea to book directly through the accommodation website, if this is an option.

Private student accommodation

If you opt for private student accommodation, you'll have all the comforts and benefits of living in university halls, with the added bonus of being able to book your accommodation directly through the provider to secure your preferred room type and residence. You may also get to mix with a wider range of people, potentially from different universities and other year groups, so your social circle won't be limited to students from your course! 

For more information about our prices and room types, visit the Liberty Living website.

How do students pay for accommodation?

How do students pay

Living and studying in a new city is exciting, but you probably have lots of questions about how you can afford to fund your time at university. So how do students afford accommodation? Does student finance pay for accommodation costs and at what stage are parents required to step in (if they can)? Here is a breakdown of the different ways that could help you pay for your student accommodation:

Student loan

Your student loan will be available in two parts.

            • A tuition fee loan, which will cover the cost of studying.
            • A maintenance loan, which can help to cover other costs such as rent and living.

Whilst the tuition fee loan is paid directly to your course provider, the maintenance money is paid straight into your account at the start of each term. Whether this will be enough to pay for rent will depend on how much money you are entitled to and the price of your chosen accommodation. How much you’ll receive depends on your household income:

Annual household income

Maximum maintenance loan amount per year

£25,000 or less

£8,700

£30,000

£8,076

£40,000

£6,828

£62,215 or more

£4,054

Please also note that the minimum and maximum amounts are much higher for students wanting to go to university in London.

Help from parents

In some cases, a student loan may not be enough to cover accommodation, which means that students may have to rely on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ (if they can) to step in and provide a bit of financial help. If they can, some parents may contribute to or cover the expense of rent completely. However you choose to cover the costs of going to university, it’s important to learn budgeting skills in order to make your time there as economical as possible for everyone involved. Read our guide to

Part-time job

Whether you need to make up your rent or you just want some extra spending money, a part-time job can be a great way to break up your studies. Students who take on part-time jobs tend to work in places such as local bars, restaurants, shops and call centres. Not only is a part-time job great practice for the real world, it’s another opportunity to broaden your social circle, so you get to spend time with a diverse group of people during your time at university.

When do you pay for student accommodation?

When do students pay

When it comes to when and how payments are due, this is organised between you and your university or the company you will be renting with. Usually you can pay the annual rent in one single payment, or divided into instalments that are paid throughout the year. At Liberty Living, most of our residences offer a choice of payment schedules. If you book with us, our Booking Process page has a summary of the payment options and the dates that we will take payments. We’ll also send you reminders before payment is due to make your life easier and help you remember!

When paying for student accommodation, you should also consider:

Deposit

You will need to put down a deposit for any type of student accommodation, whether you choose to live in university halls or private halls. Here at Liberty Living, you will be asked to pay a £200 booking fee before moving into any Liberty Living residence. Once you have moved in, the fee will automatically turn into a security deposit and will be returned at the end of the tenancy agreement, as long as the accommodation is kept in a suitable condition.

Guarantors

When you sign your rent contract, you may also be required to give details of a guarantor (usually a parent, guardian or other family member) who can provide financial help if you don’t pay your rent on time. We hope this won’t be needed, but understand these things happen. At Liberty Living, we request a guarantor’s signature for any student wishing to pay in instalments. You can find out more about being a guarantor on our advice for parents and guardians page.

Want to find out more about applying for private student accommodation? Why not read our online guide to How and when to apply for student accommodation.